You could say he’s had a lucky year. The lanky six-foot-two-inch 17-year-old all-American with piercing blue eyes has taken the fashion industry by storm. This season, Lucky Blue Smith is the face of Tom Ford, Moncler, and Calvin Klein Jeans, and has walked the runways of designers Michael Kors, Versace, and Fendi. He’s also become an Insta-stud. His social-media presence has branded him a male equivalent of Cara Delevingne, the British “It girl” whose quirky online persona (more than 20 million Instagram followers) catapulted her into fashion’s stratosphere and then into big Hollywood movies.
The exact moment Smith’s career turned from model to Insta-star was during the men’s-wear shows last January in Milan. He first joined Instagram to keep up with friends from home in Utah, but by show season he had amassed 150,000 followers. Most were fans of his modeling pictures, and they were eager to meet him. He posted a message that he’d be outside Via Solari, 35, Fendi’s show venue in Milan, at a certain time. Sixty girls arrived demanding selfies. He pulled the stunt three more times. Again, more girls, more selfies. His followers were multiplying. By the time fashion week had migrated to Paris, Smith’s modus operandi was tried and true. The “Insta-meets” had become frenzies of hormonal teenagers wielding camera phones. “In Paris, a girl was having a panic attack, so I sat her down, gave her a hug, and took a pic with her. I looked back and she had passed out!” To date, he has more than 1.4 million followers.
Smith is the youngest of four children, the only boy after sisters Starlie Cheyenne, 22, Daisy Clementine, 20, and Pyper America, 18. (Their mother, Sheridan, a former model, and their father, Dallon, a hobbyist musician who started a guitar-string company, gave them memorable first names to offset their familiar surname.) Together, they’re the Atomics, a family band with Lucky Blue on drums. They live in L.A. now, but they grew up in a tight-knit community in Spanish Fork, Utah, where a model scout first approached Daisy, in 2008. “I was 10 at the time,” Lucky Blue remembers, “and they said, ‘In a couple of years, we’ll come back for you.’ ” They weren’t kidding. He signed at 12, and by the time he reached 15, the Smiths had moved to California, Lucky Blue had been shot by Hedi Slimane for Japanese Vogue, and all four siblings had become the face of Gap’s 2012 holiday campaign.
As Smith’s fan base continues to climb, he offers two tips for those who haven’t amassed as many followers. The most important thing to remember when taking a selfie: “Good lighting. Definitely.” And find a four-legged friend. “Put a puppy in your picture and it will make it 20 times better.”
VIA: VANITY FAIR @DEREKBLASBERG